COP26: Heal the Natural World, Protect All Old-Growth Forests

GLASGOW – Old-growth forests are the planet’s largest and most carbon-rich biodiverse assemblages. Protecting these earthly temples is central to the survival of all life.

As the twenty-sixth United Nations climate talks get underway, the only issue that matters to Mother Earth and the two million known species is, how to slow down the infernal man-made climate heat, climate droughts, climate fires, climate floods and strengthening climate hurricanes and climate cyclones?

The answer is really quite simple. Reduce combustion emissions immediately. Dovetail all industries to produce a zero-combustion global economy by 2035. And end all fossil fuel subsidies, $5.9 trillion annually, without any further delay.

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Infuriatingly, that’s not what the world’s leaders have in mind. Oh, no. They intend on burning a lot more carbon, consequences be damned. In fact, the fossil fuel industry sees tremendous growth in petrochemical-based plastics to midcentury and beyond.

Alas, Big Oil does have a problem. We, the consumers, out-number them almost a billion to one. The way that each of us can fight back and protect Mother Earth is to consume much less, refuse plastics and support locally made products.

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The harsh reality is that the road ahead for civilisation is uncertain because the oceans are supercharged with fossil fuelswood pellets and palm oil heat. The oceans drive Earth’s climate, which is becoming unstable and jeopardising global food security.

The second most influential planetary climatemakers are old-growth forests. Not only do forests provide 90 percent of all cities with their daily drinking water, but also, they are intercontinental rainmakers.

It turns out that 80 to 90 percent of continental atmospheric moisture goes through trees. Aussie researchers recently reported that every gram of carbon absorbed by a plant requires a kilo (2.2 lbs) of water, which is then returned into the atmosphere. Trees and forests are inextricably linked to the breathtaking water cycle that sustains planetary life.

Old-Growth Forests
In 2005, five hundred million Amazon rainforest trees were blown over in a horrific climate storm. Unprecedented. Credit: NASA

Mother Earth cannot afford to lose any more old-growth forests. Already, climate heat, climate fires and violent climate storms have caused the largest tropical rainforest, the Amazon, to reduce its intercontinental rainfall and emit more carbon than it annually stores. Likewise for the breakdown of the Indo/Malayan old-growth, the world’s third largest tropical rainforest.

The more fossil fuels, wood pellets and palm oil that we burn, the more of these indispensable tropical rainforests and all forests that will perish. Without these living breathing, dripping, wildlife-endowed cathedrals, we cannot inhabit our only home.

In addition to protecting old-growth forests, a smart low-tech solution to draw down more atmospheric carbon is to repair nature by rewilding all continents. The forests, woodlands and soils depend upon all the animals and insects, like termites and longicorn beetles that are vital decomposers within the forest carbon cycle.

Old-Growth Forests

The Australasian genus Acacia, members of the pea family, are exceptional at contending with aridity, storing carbon, conserving water, enhancing soils and extracting nitrogen from the air. They are nature’s spellbinding thrifty fertilizer trees and shrubs.

A prudent expenditure of Aussie taxpayer dollars could go towards repairing these exquisite Acacia ecosystems, including allowing the dingoes to patrol and consume hordes of feral cats that are decimating billions of native animals.

There is no wiggle room left in the natural world. There are colossal climate graveyards on land and under the sea, and it’s getting worse. Left to their own devices, the fossil fuel oligarchs and CEOs, bankers, pension funds and investment management companies will swiftly annihilate the living planet.

Did you know that since the Paris Agreement, banks and asset managers based in the EU, UK, US and China have made deals worth $157 billion with Big Agri, cattle farmers, loggers and palm oilers to destroy irreplaceable old-growth rainforests in Brazil, SE Asia and Africa?

HSBC, Deutsche Bank, JPMorgan, BNP Paribas, Rabobank and Bank of China have profited by irreparably impoverishing Mother Earth. Unfrackin’ acceptable!

We, THE CITIZENS OF EARTH, demand forest climate action. End all old-growth logging to avoid catastrophic climate breakdown, now!

Old-Growth Forests
Old-growth forests are supreme oxygen-makers and climate stabilisers. Join the movement to protect these mesmerising living treasures. Credit: Josh Carter

Agitate. Disrupt. Defend.


Reese Halter

Reese Halter is a bees/trees/seas defender.
His latest book is GenZ Emergency.
Email: for your autographed copy.
In Australia, order from the Bob Brown Foundation by emailing:

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